The Los Angeles Dodgers formally announced that their new 24/7 exclusive television channel, SportsNet LA, will launch on February 25. After several years on Fox and KCAL 9 sports, the Dodgers will partner with Time Warner Cable to provide fans with over 140 regular season games, all Spring Training games and classic games on a daily basis.
News about who the organization hired to be apart of their broadcast teams broke earlier this winter with former Dodgers Nomar Garciaparra and Orel Hershiser leaving ESPN and Alanna Rizzo jumped from MLB Network over to the Dodgers new channel. Jerry Hairston Jr. retired to join the team and KABC 7 sports anchor John Hartung was also brought in.
Here’s the official release from the Dodgers with all the roles clearly defined:
LOS ANGELES, CA – SportsNet LA, the exclusive new local TV home of the Los Angeles Dodgers, officially announced today that the network will launch on February 25, the night before the Dodgers’ first Spring Training game. SportsNet LA will take fans behind-the-scenes and offer in-depth access into the Dodger organization, providing an immersive experience with never-before-seen content, and thousands of hours of comprehensive Dodger programming. SportsNet LA will televise 24/7 Dodger content, including live and classic games, live studio shows, numerous original programs, all with expert commentary led by the network’s on-air talent team of Orel Hershiser, Nomar Garciaparra, Charley Steiner, Jerry Hairston, Alanna Rizzo and John Hartung.
As previously announced, Vin Scully will return for an unprecedented 65th season to call all Dodger home games and road games in California and Arizona.
“We’re so excited to launch SportsNet LA and give Dodger fans all of the in-depth coverage and programming that they have been asking for for years,” said Stan Kasten, President and CEO, Los Angeles Dodgers. “Building off of this past season’s momentum, we have so much planned for the 2014 season and beyond. We can’t wait to share the excitement with our fans through SportsNet LA and showcase all that this great franchise has to offer.”
Steiner and Hershiser will call all Dodger games that Scully does not. Hershiser, who won a World Series, Cy Young, and two postseason MVP awards during his 13 seasons with the Dodgers, will serve as the color analyst alongside Steiner and also appear in the network’s pre- and post-game shows during other games. Hershiser joins SportsNet LA after eight years at ESPN, where he contributed to the network’s “Sunday Night Baseball” games, “Baseball Tonight” and other baseball programming. After retiring from an 18-year Major League career, he also spent five years working for the Texas Rangers as a Major League Pitching Coach and in the front office.
Steiner enters his 10th season calling play-by-play for Dodger games, with the previous nine for the Dodgers’ radio partner. He was recently inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame and has won several Emmy Awards for his previous work with ESPN, PRIME TICKET and the YES Network.
Garciaparra and Hairston will contribute to SportsNet LA’s pre- and post-game coverage, both live from the stadium and from the SportsNet LA studio. Garciaparra is originally from Los Angeles and spent three seasons with the Dodgers during a 14-year Major League career. He was named the 1997 American League (AL) Rookie of the Year and won two AL batting titles and a silver slugger before being named the 2006 National League Comeback Player of the Year and retiring in 2009. The six-time All-Star infielder joins SportsNet LA from ESPN, where he spent four years contributing to its baseball shows, including “Baseball Tonight” and “WednesdayNight Baseball.” Garciaparra will also call Dodger road games on the radio alongside Rick Monday.
Hairston retired at the end of last season after a 16-year Major League career and two seasons with the Dodgers. The third-generation major leaguer played every position except pitcher and catcher and was one of the sport’s most versatile veteran players. Hairston has previously worked for ESPN, appearing on “Baseball Tonight,” and MLB Network, where he appeared on “MLB Tonight,” “Hot Stove” and other programs.
Rizzo will serve as SportsNet LA’s in-game reporter for games called by Steiner and Hershiser and will also host the pre- and post-game shows from the stadium. Rizzo spent the past two seasons at MLB Network hosting “Intentional Talk” and “Quick Pitch” and also previously worked at Root Sports Rocky Mountain.
Hartung will be a studio host for SportsNet LA, anchoring the network’s live studio shows. He joins the network from KABC-TV in Los Angeles, where he spent the past 11 years as a sports and news anchor. He has worked in sports television for 20 years and is originally from Los Angeles.
SportsNet LA’s in-depth Dodgers programming roster as well as additional on-air talent information will be announced closer to the network’s launch date.